Author Topic: Dzogchen Samplers - a caution  (Read 12928 times)

GoGet

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Re: Dzogchen Samplers - a caution
« Reply #15 on: September 18, 2010, 10:25:59 am »

Christ!  Sometimes I come back to a thread and read my stuff a few days after posting it and think.......

"Was I on drugs when I wrote that?"

Nevertheless, your words of caution were, I'm sure, sincerely meant at the time,

If I may lay claim to sincerity, the yes.  My frustration comes from a percieved lack of skillful means on my part.


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and certainly reflect attitudes that would have been held by most teachers maybe 10 years ago.


I hadn't thought of it that way, but I suppose you are right.

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But, as  I understand it, the realities of the Tibetan Diaspora, plus some sincerely-held, positive views from teachers have changed many attitudes.

yes, many things have changed since the TD since 1959.

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HH Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche and Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche (who were my Guru's main teachers) had the view that Dzogchen's time and place to 'come out' and to flourish has come here in the West in this 'dark age'.


My own guru, Ponlop Rinpoche, was also a student of Dilgo Khyentse and was well-aquainted with the Vidyadhara and although DPR has written an introductory overview to Dzogchen (Wild Awakening) and our Sahngha, Nalandabodhi, does have a Dzogchen component by way of DPR's practice and teaching lineage.  Just the same Dzogchen doesn't get talked about much.  Niether does Mahamudra for that matter.  Where DPR's practice and study curriculum leads for a given student is only spoken of in generalities.  DPR's students, as I understand it, can focus on one or the other (possibly both), but the direction doesn't seem to be until the student is both qualified and ready to make that choice.

I don't thinks that's a bad way to approach "higher practice".  It's better, I think, to focus on the task at hand - deepening practice though meditation and study though a set curriculum - than to concern a student with things they're not really ready for and quite frankly, don't need to know until the time comes to take up that practice.  Better to keep the student focused on establishing a firm foundation of essentials of the path - Shamatha, Vispassyana and so on and not to distract with stuff that isn't condusive those practices.

So, I guess where I'm coming from, knowledge of things like Dzogchen and Mahamudra being treated esoterically is the more skillful approach relative to the needs of sentient beings.  If a student is exposed to things like Dzogchen in a less than appropriate time, place and method the result may be less than beneficial to the student and by extension all sentient beings.  Knowing the time, place and method is something my own level of skill will not provide.  My personal preference is to leave such matters to those who teach it and best left alone by those who are taught.

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This is why they established my Guru's organization in the UK, the Longchen Foundation, in which the initial meditation training (the Lion's Roar) leads directly to Dzogchen and is open about that right from the outset.

Even in my lineage, Dzogchen is no big secret - after all, he's not called "Dzogchen" Ponlop without meaning.  It would be abvious that Dzogchen is a part of what DPR can teach us, but just because he can teach doesn't mean that he will teach Dzogchen to any given student.  I think that decision is based more on a students capacity rather than desire to take up the practice.  No sense in introducing  a student to practices they will not take up.  Encourage them to focus on those things that will be of the greatest benefit on the path.

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In selecting what to post here I have used only material from published books authored or authorised by authentic Dzogchen masters and published by mainstream publishers, on the assumption that if they are now prepared for this material to go into such unrestricted wide-circulation it would be OK to post it here.

I know.  Nothing you've posted violates any samaya that I can see, but I think I might be a bit more circumspect in diseminating such information, even if previously published elsewhere.  I wouldn't post anything about such practices, especially what my guru teaches without consulting him first and I wouldn't even bother asking DPR about it because I already know what he'd say.

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Even so, there are many parts of these published texts which I would not draw people's attention to; I've restricted myself to what appear to me to be 'come and see' introductory and motivational parts of the texts - inviting connection  - rather than the detailed 'core' teachings.

And that is wise on your part.

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I totally agree with your point about there being something mysterious about the initial connection to Dzogchen - a event of potency which feels much more then a 'strongly-significant coincidence'. Maybe for some people it will be discovering this forum which contributes to that moment of magic.  :pray:

Perhaps that is so, and I sincerely hope that is how it will work.  I guess I'm enough of a conservative to want to err on the side of caution, though.  You mileage, of course, may differ.

May beings benefit.

Offline humanitas

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Re: Dzogchen Samplers - a caution
« Reply #16 on: September 20, 2010, 07:59:00 pm »
Is the LionsRoar the same thing as Shamata?

Pardon de l'ignorance! :)
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Offline Bodhicandra

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Re: Dzogchen Samplers - a caution
« Reply #17 on: September 21, 2010, 01:17:11 am »
Is the LionsRoar the same thing as Shamata?

Pardon de l'ignorance! :)

Ignorance here too - I've not been taught anything that has been called 'shamata', so I don't know if it is the same.

From what I can read of shamata and vipashyana, the Lion's Roar 'formless' meditation seems to incorporate components of both at the outset.

However, our formless meditation has what I understand to be unique features in terms of posture, hand-position, eyes, relationship to breath and so on and each gate in the nine-gate course involves a closely-linked View-Meditation-Action set of instructions.
"Your first task on the path is to learn to stop being a nuisance to the world"
adapted from Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche

Offline humanitas

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Re: Dzogchen Samplers - a caution
« Reply #18 on: October 04, 2010, 09:31:06 pm »
Do you need to receive the empowerment for this meditation practice?

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Offline Bodhicandra

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Re: Dzogchen Samplers - a caution
« Reply #19 on: October 05, 2010, 12:46:51 am »
Do you need to receive the empowerment for this meditation practice?
You need to receive the 'lung', the verbal instructions, in person for each of the 9 gates (spaced roughly 4 months apart).
"Your first task on the path is to learn to stop being a nuisance to the world"
adapted from Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche

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Re: Dzogchen Samplers - a caution
« Reply #20 on: October 05, 2010, 09:51:59 am »
Ah, ok, that's why I remember I hadn't even attempted it.

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Offline heart

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Re: Dzogchen Samplers - a caution
« Reply #21 on: October 05, 2010, 09:39:06 pm »

Most, but by no means all, students take Refuge at some time during the Lion's Roar.

To progress further one must have taken the Bodhisattva vow (having undertaken a parallel programme of preparation - the Path of Freedom) and one first receives the Bodhicitta empowerment from the Guru.

The subsequent extensive studies and practices are drawn from the other eight yanas, according to each individual's need for further maturation as a Bodhisattva. These further practices appear to be of the same nature as those included in what others here refer to as HYT - we can't tell because none of us can discuss them.

Eventually the Dzogchen 'Direct Introduction' to the nature of Mind may be offered by the Guru. Of this nothing more can be said.

It appears to me that MahaMudra is approached in a different sequence, being seen as the pinnacle practice of HTY -  the culmination of the eighth yana, according to the Nyingma method of classification.


I heard good things about your teacher but his approach seems a bit unusual. Most of the Dzogchen cycles practiced widely today have a Ngondro, like most Mahamudra teachings. These contain the four mind-turnings and the four or five 100.000 that I assume you are familiar with. After that the Mahamudra teachings have a very detailed path through shamtha training with vipashayna being introduced through a series of pointing-out instructions. A very pedagogic approach. In Dzogchen the approach is much more direct. The natural state can and will be introduced at any point during the training. There is according to Jigme Lingpa two ways of doing this. However I participated in the "path of liberation 1" with Mingyur Rinpoche recently. He introduced the nature of mind in both Dzogchen ways and added to that the possibility to approach the nature of mind in a more Mahamudra style. At the same time he gave transmission for the Karma Kagyu Ngondro. So things don't need to be so separate.
In the Mahamudra approach there is a strong connection with Yidam practice and the six yogas of Naropa/Niguma. The Dzogchen approach is more formless with it's Trechö and Tögal but still Dzogchen practioners do practice  development and completion stages of one or many Yidams. At least that is what I do. Lot more to say about this of course.

/magnus

   

Offline Bodhicandra

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Re: Dzogchen Samplers - a caution
« Reply #22 on: October 06, 2010, 02:10:02 am »
I heard good things about your teacher but his approach seems a bit unusual.


Quite!

Rigdzin Shikpo Rinpoche was tasked by Chögyam Trunpa Rinpoche and HH Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche with developing a 'new tradition', directly applicable in the West.  He has been supported in this specific task by Dudjom Rinpoche, the Ngakpa Yeshe Dorje Rinpoche and now (the only one of his teachers still alive) by Khempo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche.

He spend 20 or so years preparing the ground with his long-term students until the new structure became clear to him. I was among the first batch of new students to enter this structured approach, I'm still only half-way through, so can't say exactly what happens in the latter stages.


Perhaps controversially he has dispensed with the 100,000s and so on as an entry requirement, and has substituted a commitment to completing 1000 hours of the Lions' Roar meditation practice, together with mandatory attendance at one-week retreats (mandatory for progress to subsequent stages, that is).

Most of the teaching material is being written by him as we proceed, which, for those of us at the 'leading edge' of the unfolding of this new tradition, can make life 'exciting'; new practices sometimes come off the printer as we are sitting in the shrine room waiting to receive them, and 'fine tuning' is being done as a result of our experiences with the practices (adjusting, for example, the instructions relating to gongs, meditation interludes, changes in mudra and so on to make sure they are unambiguous yet succinct).

The fact that he is blind makes the whole process even more remarkable and one can really appreciate the wonderful way the Dharma manifests and the real meaning of the epithet 'Rinpoche'!
"Your first task on the path is to learn to stop being a nuisance to the world"
adapted from Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche

Offline santamonicacj

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Re: Dzogchen Samplers - a caution
« Reply #23 on: October 06, 2010, 02:30:44 am »
Perhaps controversially he has dispensed with the 100,000s and so on as an entry requirement, and has substituted a commitment to completing 1000 hours of the Lions' Roar meditation practice, together with mandatory attendance at one-week retreats (mandatory for progress to subsequent stages, that is).
That should be popular!

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Most of the teaching material is being written by him as we proceed, which, for those of us at the 'leading edge' of the unfolding of this new tradition, can make life 'exciting'...
Good luck with it!
Warning: I'm enough of a fundamentalist Tibet style Buddhist to believe that for the last 1,000 years Tibet has produced a handful of enlightened masters in every generation. I do not ask that YOU believe it, but it will greatly simplify conversations if you understand that about me. Thanks.

Offline heart

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Re: Dzogchen Samplers - a caution
« Reply #24 on: October 06, 2010, 06:28:02 am »
I heard good things about your teacher but his approach seems a bit unusual.


Quite!

Rigdzin Shikpo Rinpoche was tasked by Chögyam Trunpa Rinpoche and HH Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche with developing a 'new tradition', directly applicable in the West.  He has been supported in this specific task by Dudjom Rinpoche, the Ngakpa Yeshe Dorje Rinpoche and now (the only one of his teachers still alive) by Khempo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche.

He spend 20 or so years preparing the ground with his long-term students until the new structure became clear to him. I was among the first batch of new students to enter this structured approach, I'm still only half-way through, so can't say exactly what happens in the latter stages.


Perhaps controversially he has dispensed with the 100,000s and so on as an entry requirement, and has substituted a commitment to completing 1000 hours of the Lions' Roar meditation practice, together with mandatory attendance at one-week retreats (mandatory for progress to subsequent stages, that is).

Most of the teaching material is being written by him as we proceed, which, for those of us at the 'leading edge' of the unfolding of this new tradition, can make life 'exciting'; new practices sometimes come off the printer as we are sitting in the shrine room waiting to receive them, and 'fine tuning' is being done as a result of our experiences with the practices (adjusting, for example, the instructions relating to gongs, meditation interludes, changes in mudra and so on to make sure they are unambiguous yet succinct).

The fact that he is blind makes the whole process even more remarkable and one can really appreciate the wonderful way the Dharma manifests and the real meaning of the epithet 'Rinpoche'!


Well, it sounds quite nice. However the Ngondro is normally not a entry requirement in the way Dzogchen is practiced in my tradition. There is no other requirement then to come to the teachings actually. Not only with my teacher but also for example with Mingyur Rinpoche. My teachers will try to introduce anyone to the natural state. Then if you recognize and also if you don't recognize the Ngondro is suggested as a practice, then yidam and rushan and so on.

/magnus   
« Last Edit: October 06, 2010, 06:29:49 am by heart »

Offline santamonicacj

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Re: Dzogchen Samplers - a caution
« Reply #25 on: October 06, 2010, 07:37:32 am »
Well, it sounds quite nice. However the Ngondro is normally not a entry requirement in the way Dzogchen is practiced in my tradition. There is no other requirement then to come to the teachings actually. Not only with my teacher but also for example with Mingyur Rinpoche. My teachers will try to introduce anyone to the natural state. Then if you recognize and also if you don't recognize the Ngondro is suggested as a practice, then yidam and rushan and so on.
Sounds like Namkai Norbu's approach. Is he your teacher or is there someone else that does it that way too?
Warning: I'm enough of a fundamentalist Tibet style Buddhist to believe that for the last 1,000 years Tibet has produced a handful of enlightened masters in every generation. I do not ask that YOU believe it, but it will greatly simplify conversations if you understand that about me. Thanks.

Offline heart

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Re: Dzogchen Samplers - a caution
« Reply #26 on: October 06, 2010, 08:02:25 am »
Well, it sounds quite nice. However the Ngondro is normally not a entry requirement in the way Dzogchen is practiced in my tradition. There is no other requirement then to come to the teachings actually. Not only with my teacher but also for example with Mingyur Rinpoche. My teachers will try to introduce anyone to the natural state. Then if you recognize and also if you don't recognize the Ngondro is suggested as a practice, then yidam and rushan and so on.
Sounds like Namkai Norbu's approach. Is he your teacher or is there someone else that does it that way too?

Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche is my Guru. All of Tulku Urgyens son seems to, more or less, use this approach. When you are an old student, like me, it is easy to see how often they try to introduce people to the natural state. I would say that they are a bit different than ChNN in they way that they are actually quite traditional. They all insist their students do Ngondro and Yidam and so on, only the direct introduction don't come in end, it comes in the beginning. Still, many students don't get it for a long time, sometimes a very long time.

/magnus
 


Offline Lobster

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Re: Dzogchen Samplers - a caution
« Reply #27 on: January 29, 2012, 07:02:48 am »
Now let us take it the other way around.
There you are in a state of open awareness. What is there to transmit or for others to observe? If you are skillful, there will be nothing obvious or untoward.

There is a big difference between example, which most of us have been party to and the ability to prepare the ground for potential opening.

The capacity to perceive a persons interior state and awareness and the ability to move them onward is always the function and natural inclination of those engaged in more open mind states.

The situation is not a lack of teaching or knowledge (esoteric or available in a fortune cookie), it is a lack of capacity and inclination in most of us.
We would rather play. 
Let me give you an example . . .  oh no I can't it's 'secret'  :teehee:

Dharma like Bodhictitta is always open.

Offline Mahasiddha Bodhisattva

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Re: Dzogchen Samplers - a caution
« Reply #28 on: June 01, 2012, 10:59:38 am »
Statements #2 and #3 are not accurate. This type of thinking is a symptom of the appropriation by the ecclesiastical establishment of authentic spiritual practice over centuries. An appropriation, moreover, which for various reasons is now ending. In any case, more accurate information on this may be found at the following website, consisting of an article by Dr. Alex Berzin. For those who are not familiar with this archive, it is supported by HH the Dalai Lama and is a highly authoritative source.

http://www.berzinarchives.com/web/en/archives/advanced/dzogchen/basic_points/introduction_dzogchen.html

Two points that are crucial here are the statement that (1) Dzogchen may be practised by anyone, although of course without prior spiritual realization one will not achieve the highest level of realization of Dzogchen (a statement with which I have no quarrel), and (2) such experience may have been achieved in prior lives! The last statement is crucial because it means that the statement commonly made that one is "required" (required by whom?) to complete 100,000 recitations of the Vajra Guru mantra or some such thing which in turns requires other prerequisites, etc., all conveniently overseen by one or another ecclesiastical authority, and so on and so on, is really just a scholastic formalization, not necessarily true at all. If that were the case, then how could it have arisen in the first place? It’s a great racket for the ecclesiastics and their woeful followers, however, one to which not only Tibetan Buddhism has succumbed. To say that without these prerequisties “it simply won’t work” is rank superstition, nothing else.

Offline santamonicacj

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Re: Dzogchen Samplers - a caution
« Reply #29 on: June 01, 2012, 08:31:36 pm »
Two points that are crucial here are the statement that (1) Dzogchen may be practised by anyone, although of course without prior spiritual realization one will not achieve the highest level of realization of Dzogchen (a statement with which I have no quarrel), and (2) such experience may have been achieved in prior lives! The last statement is crucial because it means that the statement commonly made that one is "required" (required by whom?) to complete 100,000 recitations of the Vajra Guru mantra or some such thing which in turns requires other prerequisites, etc., all conveniently overseen by one or another ecclesiastical authority, and so on and so on, is really just a scholastic formalization, not necessarily true at all. If that were the case, then how could it have arisen in the first place? It’s a great racket for the ecclesiastics and their woeful followers, however, one to which not only Tibetan Buddhism has succumbed. To say that without these prerequisties “it simply won’t work” is rank superstition, nothing else.

See Heart's post #27 in this thread for examples of teachers that do not follow that model, including his own.

Hopefully the people that follow the NgonDro model find it karmically appropriate to them. I do know of at least one example where the requirement was waived because of the person's prior accomplishments. So it seems exceptional cases can be accommodated.
Warning: I'm enough of a fundamentalist Tibet style Buddhist to believe that for the last 1,000 years Tibet has produced a handful of enlightened masters in every generation. I do not ask that YOU believe it, but it will greatly simplify conversations if you understand that about me. Thanks.

 


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